Have you Seen this Video?! Authentication of Deepfakes & Fake Profiles

Posted by Lea C. Dearing on

In the ever-changing era of social media that we live in, a new trend has emerged among online scammers and cybercriminals. Now, instead of using a real person’s identity and information to create fake profiles, cybercriminals are simply fabricating profiles based on entirely made-up information, including digitally created images known as deepfakes. For the most part, deepfakes have been limited to mocking celebrities and politicians. However, as seen with one London family, it is only a matter of time before deepfakes begin to have damaging effects on the reputations of ordinary people.

Authentication of Deepfakes: What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
As a potential victim, the damages that can result from one of these high quality photos, images and videos can be far-reaching and can occur quickly. It would be useful to you to capture these videos to use as evidence if you choose to pursue a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, effectively capturing a deepfake can be challenging and present issues with authentication. Often, deep fakes only circulate for a short period of time before being taken down or deleted. The short life span of deepfakes make them almost impossible to capture without raising issues of authenticity.

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, simply taking a screen shot of deepfake videos or images or printing it out will not suffice to tie the information to a real person—that level of authentication will undoubtedly require all the metadata and perhaps the cooperation of the host company for additional IP related information. Metadata for deepfakes is especially important because it can help establish the identity or location of the author, the date the photo or video was created and last saved, the date of the last printed version, and changes that were made to the photos or video, all of which may be necessary pieces of information for authentication purposes. With the help of an expert, metadata may also reveal activity taken on the computer before the deepfake was drafted or sent. In many ways, metadata is essential to authentication because it provides information and details about the deepfake as well as the events that transpired surrounding its creation.

Takeaways
Electronic evidence has become commonplace in all type of cases. It is important for you and your attorney to stay on top of current trends in technology, including tools for the authentication of deepfakes. Capitalizing on metadata, for example, will not only ensure that the electronic evidence you intend to use is authenticated, it will also allow you to gather other information not traditionally available with more tangible evidence.

For tips on how to gather electronic evidence and manage e-discovery, please read our previous blog post and article. And, as always, please let us know how we can help you.